Saturday 25 October 2014

Shelbourne mourn Irish football legend Eric barber

Published 22/08/2014 | 02:30

Former Shels player Eric Barber (second from right) pictured when he was playing with the Kansas City Spurs when they played against Santos with the famous Pele in 1968.  Picture;Gerry Mooney
Former Shels player Eric Barber (second from right) pictured when he was playing with the Kansas City Spurs when they played against Santos with the famous Pele in 1968. Picture;Gerry Mooney

ERIC Barber was a true Shelbourne legend.

A fine striker, he began his career with St Finbarr's before moving to Shels with whom he won the FAI Youth Cup in 1959. He wasn't long graduating to the first team, and in the following season, 1959-60, Eric scored in every round as a young Shelbourne team went all the way to the FAI Cup final in which they defeated Cork Hibernians 2-0. Freddie Strahan was the other scorer in the final.

In 1961-62, his goals helped Shelbourne to the League title, and a losing FAI Cup final appearance.

A second cup winner's medal followed for Eric in 1963 when Shels beat Cork Hibs again in the decider. Eric was a prolific striker, and scored 142 goals in the League of Ireland, 126 of them for Shelbourne.

He also played for Birmingham City, Chicago and Kansas in the North American Soccer League, Shamrock Rovers, and Weiner Sportsclub of Austria before returning to his beloved Shelbourne to round off his career in the 1970s. Capped by the Republic of Ireland twice, he represented the League of Ireland three times.

Eric's passing will be deeply regretted by his family, friends, and by everyone connected with Shelbourne and with Irish soccer.

May he rest in peace.

- LK

Irish Independent

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